Baking a Difference
If you walk through the door of Touchstone on a Monday morning, the first thing that will hit you will be the smell of freshly baking bread. That’s because, every Monday, a group of women from different faiths are gathering together here and ‘Baking A Difference’.
‘Baking A Difference’ is a partnership project between Touchstone and ‘Hear We Are’ women – a women’s community group who originally came together to empower the women in their local community and encourage them to realise their full potential. The project has been funded by ‘Near Neighbours’, whose aim is “to bring people together who are near neighbours in communities that are religiously and ethnically diverse, so that they can get to know each other better, build relationships of trust, and collaborate together on initiatives that improve the local community they live in”.
The women taking part in ‘Baking A Difference’ are from different faiths, cultures and generations. Each week we bake a different type of bread together - including scones, rolls, naan breads and pizza - which we then share over lunch. Whilst we are waiting for the bread to bake we share conversation on various topics such as childhood memories of baking and the importance of food in our families and faith traditions. One week we discussed what our faiths teach us about hospitality, and we all agreed with the quote by Maya Angelou, ““I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Similarly, whilst making bread rolls we shared conversation prompted by different quotes about bread, including this one by author Ursula Leguin, “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new’” Having spent the morning kneading bread we all felt this quote really meant something to us!
Learning how to bake different types of bread together has been great fun, but perhaps more important have been the friendships formed in doing so, and to discover that no matter what our faith, culture or generation, we all have shared memories of cooking with parents and grandparents, or a shared belief in the importance of offering hospitality to strangers. This learning from each other is something we each take away from the group every week (as well as delicious home baked goods to share with family and neighbours!). In this way we are truly ‘Baking A Difference’ here in Bradford!